Customer service is the backbone of any successful business, and you must be a master of many skills to excel in this line of work. Everything from written and verbal communication to empathy and problem-solving makes you a proficient customer service representative.
Since you probably have many abilities and achievements to showcase, it becomes all the more important to do that the correct way. You need to know what to focus on and how to grab the recruiter’s attention.
Luckily, there are simple rules and guidelines that you can follow to help you create a flawless customer service resume from beginning to end. So, without further ado, let’s jump in!
To get the most out of your customer service resume, use a reverse-chronological layout.
To pass an ATS scan, use a professional title and insert skills throughout your resume as keywords.
Action verbs and exact numbers will make your resume more impressive.
Mention your degrees and diplomas and list internships or volunteer work if you lack experience.
When adding skills to your resume, research the job posting to figure out which hard and soft skills are relevant and warrant inclusion.
Write a unique, job-specific cover letter to submit with your resume.
Sections to Include in a Customer Service Resume
Customer service is a complex field where job requirements usually vary from one position to the next. There’s no one clear-cut set of skills that would make you universally proficient at this job, and you should keep that in mind when creating a customer service resume.
Whichever role you’re interested in, your resume should feature only the relevant information that can help the recruiters realize that you’re the right candidate for the job.
Being specific, as well as using appropriate sections and proper formatting to create your document, will help you pass an ATS scan and impress hiring managers. Needless to say, your chances of landing the job you’re interested in will significantly increase.
For starters, the best format for a customer service resume is the reverse-chronological resume format. It emphasizes your work experience and allows you to show the crucial, most recent position first. Additionally, it gives recruiters insight into your career's progress, and the way it’s organized makes it ATS-friendly.
Here’s a tried-and-true structure that will make your customer service resume look clean and professional:
Customer Service Resume Structure
Header. A section that shows your name, professional title, and contact information.
Resume summary/objective. This part belongs at the top of your customer service resume. In a couple of effective sentences, you should provide a brief summary of your resume or talk about your career objective.
Work experience. This is the most important section. It should include your previous job positions listed in reverse-chronological order, along with any relevant responsibilities, achievements, and obtained results.
Education. In this section, list all the relevant degrees and diplomas that make you qualified for the customer service position you’re interested in.
Skills. This section showcases the soft skills and industry-specific hard skills you possess.
Additional sections. If you have more details to add to your customer service resume—such as languages, achievements, hobbies, interests, and more—you can list them in additional sections.
The Header Section of a Customer Service Resume
The header section has a functional purpose, as it provides the recruiters with your name, professional title, and contact information. While this part of your customer service resume is simple to create and straightforward, there are a couple of key things you should keep an eye on.
First off, it’s crucial to make sure there are no spelling errors in this section. One misspelled letter or a wrong number, and the recruiters might not be able to contact you.
Also, it’s important to know how much contact information to put in. Your email, phone number, and city of residence are fine, but there’s no need to go into more detail. In the US, you don’t want to include a personal photo, either. That could get your resume discarded right from the start on the basis of anti-discrimination laws.
What you can add is your LinkedIn profile, as this social network is commonly used in a business environment. Before listing it on your resume, make sure your profile is properly set up and optimized. You could also include a personal website or another social media page, but only if you feel they are related to the position you’re applying for.
Finally, ensure that everything in this section looks professional. Don’t use terms like “Customer Service Wizard” or similar in the title—keep it clear and simple instead. Also, make sure you provide a proper email address—if you’re still using an address you made in high school as a joke, it’s probably time to make a new, clean one.
Here’s an example of a proper customer service resume header:
Customer Service Resume Objective and Summary
A resume objective or summary is an introductory paragraph at the top of your application document. It’s the first thing that most recruiters will read from you, which is why it’s crucial to make it highly impactful.
If you’re new to the industry and don’t have a substantial work history, you’ll write an objective. It will showcase your skills while talking about your career goals, giving recruiters insight into your potential.
If you have a lot of work experience to leverage, you’ll start your resume with a summary. The goal of this section is to summarize the whole document for the recruiter while highlighting your most prominent skills and achievements.
Customer Service Resume Objective
If you’re new to the customer service industry and you want to make a great first impression on the recruiter, you’ll need a powerful resume objective. Write no more than 2-3 concise and information-packed sentences that will highlight your key skills and show that you’re the right person for the job.
Check out the following example to see what a customer service resume objective should look like:
Resume Objective Example #1
“Attentive and personable customer service representative looking for a challenging position where I can use my communication skills and problem-solving skills. Capable of multitasking in a fast-paced environment.”
Here, you can notice that the applicant managed to mention a couple of highly desirable traits in just two sentences.
Here’s another example:
Resume Objective Example #2
“Conscientious customer care representative with exceptional interpersonal and communication skills. Looking to join a growing company and help keep customers happy by promptly resolving any issues.”
Customer Service Resume Summary
Writing a summary for a customer service resume is, in many ways, the same as writing an objective. You want to keep this section brief and concise while enticing recruiters to keep reading your resume.
The difference with a summary is that it focuses on relevant work experience that you have and actual results and achievements obtained. This is the perfect way to immediately show your proficiency in the field and portray yourself as a competent candidate.
Here’s how to write a summary for a customer service resume:
Resume Summary Example #1
“Passionate customer service specialist with 5+ years of retail experience. Active listener capable of responding swiftly to all forms of inquiries and handling 60+ calls daily. Proficient in Salesforce and HubSpot. Looking to leverage my skills and experience to fill a customer service agent role at XYZ Company.”
By using exact numbers and mentioning specific software knowledge, the candidate instantly displays competence and expertise in the field. Here’s another good example of a resume summary:
Resume Summary Example #2
“Result-oriented technical support specialist with more than three years of experience in the field. Implemented new tactics for retaining customers, resulting in a 7% decrease in cancellations. Seeking to use my skills to fill a customer service lead position at ABC Company.”
Work Experience of a Customer Service Resume
A work experience section is the most important in a resume. That’s where you get to emphasize your accomplishments in the field and give hiring managers first-hand insight into how well you could perform at their company.
When adding previous jobs to your resume, use the reverse-chronological format. Include your most recent employment first and go back from there.
Start by adding the company that you worked for and the position you held there. Include the dates of employment (a month and a year will suffice) and the company’s location. Finally, use bullet points to list your key responsibilities, the results accomplished, and relevant achievements.
Another way to make your work experience section even more impressive is by adding numbers and percentages. Instead of being too broad and general, use exact numbers to quantify your accomplishments and make them more credible. Check out the following customer service resume sample to see these tips in action:
How to Make Your Work Experience Section ATS-Friendly
When creating a customer service resume, it’s essential to keep ATS in mind. ATS is short for applicant tracking systems, which are special types of software designed to scan resumes for specific keywords. A resume that doesn’t pass an ATS scan often gets discarded automatically, which means the recruiters will likely never even see it!
For this reason, you want to ensure that your resume is formatted properly and has all the necessary keywords that will help it pass the scan.
Now, you might be wondering what these words are and how to implement them in your customer service resume.
For starters, ATS is set up according to the job position. It scans resumes, looking at job titles, desired skills, and relevant work experience in order to choose the best candidate for the role. Your previous professional titles, responsibilities, achievements, and hard and soft skills are all points of interest to the ATS.
Therefore, start by researching the job listing. That will help you find out which skills the recruiters are looking for and how they set ATS up. You can then cross-reference those skills with your own and include them throughout your resume as keywords.
Another way to make your resume ATS-friendly is to ensure proper formatting. Make sure to use a neat and common resume font, create a font size hierarchy, use bullet points, and utilize spacing to make the section readable.
ATS ranks all the candidates based on how well they match the requirements and presents the results to the hiring managers. They take this information into consideration and move on with the hiring process.
Here’s an example of a well-thought-out and ATS-friendly customer service resume work experience section:
Use Action Verbs in Your Resume
Action verbs are some of the most powerful words you can use in a resume. In essence, they are still verbs that convey doing, but their goal is to make your work experience section highly effective and captivating.
These words help you grab recruiters’ attention and make your resume stand out in a competition. The goal is to skip overused words that everyone includes in their resumes and use more impactful and memorable alternatives instead.
Let’s take a look at the two following examples:
Customer Service Action Verbs Examples
Good: “Created a new negotiation strategy and managed a team of customer service representatives to resolve customer calls faster.”
Better: “Conceptualized a new negotiation strategy and coordinated a team of 7 customer service representatives to resolve 87% of customer calls within 4 minutes.”
Both examples can be used in the same customer service resume. The first is functional, and it offers an acceptable way to describe one’s responsibilities and achievements. However, the second communicates more information and looks much more interesting.
Created and managed are both perfectly fine verbs, but they are overused to the point where hiring managers usually skim over them. On the other hand, conceptualized and coordinated are catchy words that are bound to make the candidate more prominent.
Adding some precise numbers and percentages to the equation also makes the second example much better.
Use Alternatives If You Have No Customer Service Experience
A work experience section is an important part of any resume, but there are still some ways to offset the lack of one. If you don’t have a previous employment history in the customer service field, you can use other information instead.
One of the best ways to make up for the lack of work experience is to include relevant internships, volunteer work, projects, and similar activities. You can add these the same way you’d add work experience. Include the names of the companies or projects you worked on, your roles in them, start and end dates, and key responsibilities and achievements.
Another smart way to go about it is to focus on your customer service skills. In that case, you could take advantage of a functional resume format. The functional customer service resume skills section takes priority over work history, and it’s often the biggest one in the document.
If you opt for this format, you should include your most prominent skills and a list of bullet points that showcase examples of how you used those skills in a professional environment. Here’s what that looks like on a functional customer service resume:
Education Section of Customer Service Resume
The education section might not be the most crucial part of a customer service resume, but it’s still an important one. It allows you to display your academic accomplishments and further highlight your skills and proficiency.
When adding relevant details to the education section of your customer service resume, you want to use the reverse-chronological format. Include your latest and most relevant diploma or degree first. State the degree you obtained, the name of the institution issuing it and its location, and years of attendance.
That’s the basic amount of information, but you can add more to it. You could include your GPA, but only if it’s higher than 3.5. Then, there are all kinds of extracurricular activities and college projects that are a perfect fit for a customer service resume as long as they are relevant to the industry.
All this optional information, while not mandatory, will go a long way in portraying you as a driven and ambitious candidate. Recruiters are always looking for someone who goes above and beyond, striving to exceed expectations.
Here’s an example of what a solid education section on a customer service resume might look like:
Skills for Customer Service Resume
Can you effectively multitask while dealing with a tight deadline? Or do you maybe have industry-specific knowledge that would be helpful for the specific customer support position you’re applying to? If yes, make sure to let recruiters know that by highlighting your most prominent abilities in the skills section of your resume.
Some skills enable you to do the job in the first place, and those are called hard skills. Others make you more flexible, efficient, personable, or a better team player, and those are called soft skills.
Hard skills are highly specialized and often industry-specific. Due to the nature of the customer service profession, these skills will vary a lot depending on the line of business you’re in. Certain employers will require product knowledge, for example, while others might need computer skills or mathematical skills.
On the other hand, soft skills are the bread and butter of the customer service field. They are much more general and highly transferable between different positions (and even professions). It’s crucial to research the job posting and list only the soft skills that you actually possess and that are tightly related to the position.
A good mix of hard and soft skills is invaluable on a customer service resume. A work experience section is perfect for highlighting some of them. Consider the following example:
Notice how the candidate brought up their management skills, organizational skills, creative thinking, and more while explaining their responsibilities and achievements. This way, they also implemented some keywords that can help them pass the ATS scan as well.
You should also add a list of your key skills in a separate section. Generally, that’s where you want to keep hard and soft skills separate. However, since customer service requires a particular set of interwoven skills, sometimes it’s not possible to separate the two clearly. Here’s an example:
List of Skills Relevant to Customer Service
Here are some of the most sought-after hard skills in the customer service line of work:
Customer Service Hard Skills Examples
MS Office Skills
Jira Service Desk
On the flip side, there are various soft skills you can include in your resume. To figure out which ones will have the most impact on the recruiters, study the job posting and the company to find out what they are looking for. Nevertheless, any of the following soft skills will work wonderfully in a customer service resume:
Customer Service Soft Skills Examples
Attention to detail
Other Sections of a Customer Service Resume
So, you’ve added all the essential sections to your customer service resume, but there’s still some space left. Or, perhaps you think that including a bit more information will help you impress the recruiters. Whatever the case, there are always additional sections that could help you convey more information or add a personal touch to your application.
Keep in mind that most resumes should be one page long. That being said, even if your resume has a lot of content, you can always use the power of formatting to squeeze a few more sections in. Just make sure that everything is related to the job position or adds value to the document overall.
Some of these optional sections are:
Customer Service Resume Optional Sections
Certifications and awards. If you have any additional diplomas, credentials, and accolades that are relevant to the job posting to showcase, now is the time to do so. These will present you as a motivated and active candidate who will likely perform well in the workplace.
Languages. Depending on the job posting, knowledge of foreign languages can vary from being almost irrelevant to being a must-have. With more companies entering international markets, language proficiency is becoming increasingly valuable.
Hobbies and interests. This section might be the only one where you can write about something completely unrelated to the job you’re applying for. Your hobbies and interests make you more than a candidate. Mention something you’re passionate about, and don’t be surprised if recruiters decide to ask you a question or two about it during an interview.
Should You Include a Cover Letter?
A cover letter is an optional document that serves to supplement your customer service resume. Whether you’re sending an online customer service resume or a hard copy, you should include a cover letter to get extra points during the hiring process.
Because it’s optional and many candidates won’t bother making one, those who do will come across as dedicated and willing to go the extra mile. That will immediately put you a step above other candidates and give you a head start.
A cover letter serves as an introduction to your resume. It should be a brief, one-page document that aims to spark the hiring manager’s interest and entice them to read your resume. Another important thing to keep in mind is that a cover letter should be unique. It’s specific to the position, so you should write a new one whenever you’re applying for a new job.
That being said, there’s a method to writing a cover letter that makes the endeavor much easier. Here are some basic sections you should include in it:
Customer Service Cover L:etter Format
First paragraph, where you introduce yourself and point out your interest in the job
Second paragraph, where you describe your skills and experience in the customer service field
Third paragraph, where you talk about what your future goals are and where you see yourself in the company. You should also use this section to thank the hiring manager for their time.
A professional sign-off
Here’s a real-life example of a customer service cover letter:
Not only are you a capable customer service professional, but now you also know how to make an outstanding resume! By considering the rules and guidelines defined in this article, you’re bound to create a compelling document worthy of your abilities.
Follow the advice, check out the customer service resume examples to get a better insight into what the final product should look like, and your application will be finished in no time. Your dream job awaits!